Kapor Center seeks to diversify tech while promoting Oakland Uptown Neighborhood
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - New life has been brought to a building sitting on the intersection of Franklin Street and Broadway in the Uptown neighborhood of Oakland.
The Kapor Center for social impact hopes to create a more diverse and inclusive tech community by making the pipeline of potential candidates stronger.
"Many people know there has been a real issue with tech looking very monochromatic, tech being rather male.
So we're trying to ensure the sector gets infused," says Kapor Center for Social Impact Chief of Community Engagement Cedric Brown.
The Kapor Center is the brain child of Mitch Kapor and his wife Freada Kapor Klein. They wanted to create a place where technology and social justice come together.
Their plan is to increase access to capital, diversifying the tech field, and promoting Oakland. According to the Kapor Center Oakland has a growing tech system with about 800 companies.
"We think tech can be diverse and inclusive. We think there will be more companies more interesting products and services that serve greater markets," says Kapor Capital Partner Freada Kapor Klein.
The center is housed in a 93-year-old building. Inside are three individual divisions, level playing field institute which helps underrepresented high school students of color in the areas of science technology engineering and math. Kapor Capital an Oakland based tech fund that helps startups who make a social change. Lastly, the Kapor Center for Social Impact.
"We really hope that is going to be a gathering place a destination for conversations about how to mobilize tech in positive ways," says Brown.
The center is also very green. 80 percent of the carpet tiles are made of majority recycled fishnets. Some of the tiles are made from recycled computer screens and glass and some walls are reclaimed redwood. Most of the artwork is from local artist.
"It’s a reminder of who we're serving, who we're helping. How we're contributing to Oakland, to the Bay Area and the country," says Klein.
The building also has an auditorium that seats 120 people and a rooftop reception area. All of which will be available for rent starting in the fall for community organizations.